I read thru the papers in their entirety several times before they were served. I know what they say. Getting hard copies in the mail today was a blow to the chest I did not expect.
"Petition for dissolution of marriage."
It feels so cold, and formal. So sterile. It feels like such a small, sharp phrase, and completely inadequate in describing the heartbreak of a divorce, or the twenty years I spent with him, both good and bad.
Two babies. The death of beloved family members. Vacations. Inside jokes. Heated arguments. Lazy days, curled in a ball on the couch. Violent disagreements. All of that is over now. Reduced to a stack of papers less than an inch thick. Reduced to a few short meetings in a parking lot to exchange our daughter. Reduced to a few more signatures, and a notarized stamp before the final deed is done.
I did the right thing for all of us. I was struggling. He was struggling. Our children were struggling. This is better. I am aware.
And my heart still contracts when I stop and consider the magnitude of what's happened in the past year. Sometimes I look around and think I might still wake up, and find it's all been a nightmare. That I will roll over at night, and he will be there, and he will wrap me up in his arms, and we will love each other the way we were supposed to. Without the anger. The fear. The hate.
Instead, a pile of cold, emotionless papers occupies what used to be his side of the bed.
It's very real.
I am very glad. This is nearly over, and it's a relief. I can begin to focus on my therapy and my recovery. I can surround myself with nothing but support and love. I can begin to further build my neglected friendships, and find my way in the world the way I was meant. This is a very, very positive change.
But in moments like these, my heart still breaks. If only...
And because this is a depressing post, here is a picture of a cute critter. He has a corm.